A recent study that linked gas-burning stoves to childhood asthma cases was backed by two nonprofits pushing for Americans to adopt electric stoves.
The study, which states that gas stoves account for 12.7 percent of childhood asthma cases in the U.S., was partly funded by RMI, a group that seeks to “accelerate the clean energy transition,” and was co-authored by Brady Seals, the manager of RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings arm, which aims to retrofit buildings with electric appliances.
The study was also co-authored by Rewiring America research associate Talor Gruenwald, who previously worked on RMI’s Carbon-Free Buildings team. RA is a nonprofit that is “focused on electrifying everything” in communities across America, according to its website.
The authors of the study declared that there were no conflicts of interest associated with their research.
RMI, which used the study to promote stove electrification, has received millions in donations from Breakthrough Energy, a “green energy” investment firm founded by Bill Gates, as well as the Bezos Earth Fund and Bloomberg Philanthropies, according to the 2022 RMI donors report.
RA, which called the study “groundbreaking,” states on its website that “every single retirement of any machine that runs on fossil fuels is an opportunity for electrification.”
The group celebrated the passage of the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, a bill that offers subsidies to households that electrify old appliances such as gas stoves, and created an “IRA calculator” to show individuals how much money they can receive from the subsidies.
Researchers in the study gathered independent studies that documented the effects of gas cooking on children and used statistical methods to combine the results of previous research. The authors indicated that there were 357 indoor air quality studies that could have been included in their analysis but only referenced 27 and did not identify all the studies they selected.
There is “no evidence of an association between the use of gas as a cooking fuel and either asthma symptoms or asthma diagnosis,” according to a 2013 study that sampled 500,000 children worldwide.
A 2012 Energy Department-funded study found that the emissions generated from cooking itself are considerably greater than what is generated from natural gas stoves themselves; for example, cooking with olive oil generates over 11 times more emissions per hour than what is produced from a gas stove alone.
Following the release of the study, Richard Trumka Jr., a top Consumer Product Safety Commission official, told Bloomberg that banning the manufacture and import of gas stoves is “on the table” if they “can’t be made safe.”
In December, Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and 20 other Democratic lawmakers urged the commission to crack down on gas stove emissions, stating that the pollution produced by the cooking tool disproportionately affects minority and low-income households.
“Research indicates that emissions from gas stoves can be hazardous, and the CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards,” Consumer Product Safety Commission Chair Alexander Hoehn-Saric said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.”
RMI, Seals and RA did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment. Gruenwald could not be reached for comment.
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